We've been meaning to make it to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve for some time now. While looking for a longer trail to train for our upcoming backpacking trips this trail kept popping up and being only a half hour away from the city - I was hopeful it would be a good match. We stuffed our daypacks so we'd have a decent amount of weight on our back, grabbed the pup and headed out for a 10 mile loop. The trail follows the perimeter of Argonne Laboratory and while I was expecting mostly prairie - every couple of miles we were offered a change of scenery. From grasslands, to swamps, to forests, and finally a cute little waterfall where we took a break near the finish line.
Great Day Hikes Near the City
Starved Rock State Park. A bit of a drive but definitely the most scenic hike in the area. It has 13 miles worth of trails and you can even get a descent amount of elevation going up and down through their beautiful canyons. Go after a good storm for some nice waterfalls as well.
Palos Hills Forest Preserve. Another new favorite we have yet to completely explore. 38.9 miles of unpaved trails. Yes please, also not too far from Chicago area.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A great change of pace lies right across the border. The sand dunes offer an interesting terrain for hiking that doesn't compare to anything you'd find in Illinois.